Series looking at whether household junk could be worth a small fortune. A theatrical family from Kent try to make enough money at auction to pay for a trip to London's West End.
Browse content similar to Green. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
Welcome to Cash In The Attic, the show that hunts down
hidden treasures in your home and helps you sell them at auction.
Well, today, I'm in Tenterden in Kent,
the county known as the Garden of England, and I've stopped off to see this charming Smallhythe Place.
'Now a theatre museum, this half-timbered cottage was built in the 1500s.
'In the Victorian era, it was bought as a bolthole by the famous thespian Dame Ellen Terry.
'The highest-earning actress of her day, she would come here to rest between plays.
'In 1928 her daughter converted it into a theatre
'and now it's a museum.'
I'm heading off to a village near here where I'm hoping to find
plenty more theatrical treasures that will take centre stage
when they go under the hammer at auction.
'Today on Cash In The Attic, we're with a theatrical family...'
'..who are full of surprises.'
-So tell me the story of these. Where are they from?
-My aunt found them.
-She found them?
-Yes, she found them...in the bin.
'But when it comes to auction will they be the ones lost for words?'
'Find out when the hammer falls.'
I've come to the pretty village of Biddenden in Kent to meet a family
who want to raise some funds for a rather dramatic treat.
'There are so many members of the Green family
'that it looks like they could have their own theatre company.
'Mum Isobel and dad David moved into this beautiful house in 2004
'when they needed space for their growing family,
'Eleanor, who is 17,
'aspiring actor 16-year-old James,
'and 12-year-old Hugo.
'And an ensemble cast of pets, which includes two dogs.
'Not surprisingly with such a large household, Isobel and Dave
'have a house full of collectibles and they feel it's time to clear the aisles.
'And they're hoping to use the proceeds for a very special night on the town.'
-Oh, morning, Paul.
-Good morning. How are you?
I've got a lovely family today, a bit dramatic but nice.
The eldest son, James, wants to be an actor.
-A fellow thespian.
-Have you ever trodden the boards?
-I've swept a few in my time.
-Did you make much money at it?
-Not really, no. More money in antiques and collectibles.
If you stick to the script, hopefully you can raise them some money.
Right. OK, come on. Curtain's up.
-Oh, there you all are. Hello.
So who've we got here then. You are?
-Hello, Hugo. This is Dad, I presume.
-This is Dad, David.
-You want to be an actor, is that right?
I'd like to do something along the lines of theatre or TV or something.
-Now, is it something to do with your ambitions then that you've called in Cash In The Attic?
-Yeah, sort of.
We were hoping that we would maybe have a trip up to London and go to the theatre,
especially as James is interested in acting and the theatre. It would be good fun.
And do you often go out to the theatre in London?
No, not very often, so that should be quite a fun trip with the family.
-How much money do you think you need to raise for this, then, David?
-About £400 would be very, very nice.
So we need to raise £400, so you can all get up to London
and have a fantastic trip at the theatre, with a few snacks and a couple of drinks beforehand.
OK. Well, we'd better get on, then, hadn't we? Shall we?
'While we're on the rummage, Eleanor has decided to revise for exams, poor thing.
'But by the look of these stacked rooms, we've got a real production ahead of us.
'Luckily, Paul Hayes is making a star appearance today.'
-Hello! How are you?
-What have you found then?
-Well, I must admit I love these programmes.
This one here represents 1905 and it's a visit from the King of Spain.
-There's also this one here.
-Yeah, there's that one as well.
This one is very interesting.
It's actually dated 1903, but the item's superb, it's made from silk.
And of course this would have been bought at the time,
if you were lucky enough to go to this gala performance together with the King and Queen.
You could buy paper programmes, but if you wanted to spend more you could buy these silk examples.
But what I like about this one, it actually commemorates the visit
from the French President,
and that was very, very important at that time.
-It's a year before the entente cordiale.
-Basically, we've always been at war with France for generations.
And it was only at the turn of the 20th century we got together and signed this agreement.
And then ten years later when the First World War came along,
it was very important to be allies with France.
-And that changed the whole face of things.
-So, where are these from?
They came from my aunt's.
-Yes, she found them...
-She found them?
-Yes, in a bin.
-And she just loved them and kept them.
So, what sort of value are we talking about, do you think, Paul?
At least £50 to £100, and I should imagine on the day if any opera lovers are there, any royalists...
Yeah, you need the right people there on the day.
You do. I think they're fantastic items.
OK, they're off to auction, then.
-Let's see what else we can find.
-I'll leave them there for now.
I actually don't really have any sentimental attachment to them.
I think they came to me accidentally, it's just the way it happened.
I'm sure some collector will enjoy adding them to their collection.
'And speaking of collections, it's clear that there's plenty of potential in this house.
'Oops. David's got sidetracked in the costume department.
'And in the hall, James has taken a shine to this silver-plated tea set.
'It might wow the crowds on auction day at between £30 and £50.
'In the living room, it looks like David's moved on to the props.'
-I told you it's curtain up. Look at that.
Oh, you've got Puff the Magic Dragon.
-They're amazing, aren't they?
-So, David, where do they come from?
Well, Isobel's collected them over the years.
She had some when she was very young,
and obviously over the years one or two come along.
The theatre's quite an early addition as well.
-Do you know what you paid for any of them?
-Some of them are quite expensive.
-The older ones, obviously, are quite...
-How do you tell the older ones?
-It's the boxes.
-It's the boxes.
-Yeah, the boxes make all the difference.
These are the first type of boxes, very plain,
simple cardboard boxes with these simple designs on the top.
Then I think 1956, '57, they started to introduce the yellow boxes, so these are actually quite early.
What I love about Bob Pelham, he was a great pioneer, but he actually invented the Wonky Donkey.
-You know that little toy where the donkey moves around?
He was known for that during the war and then he went into business.
He borrowed some money off his dad and his dad said,
"If you make a go of this, mate, pigs will fly."
-Oh, no! That's where it came from.
-That's where it comes from, yeah.
So he put those on the box and something like seven million were sold, so there's loads around.
What sort of estimate would you put on them?
-You say there were seven?
OK, right, well if I'm being conservative here,
you've got the theatre with it, I'd say at least £100 upwards.
There might be a rare one amongst them...and see how they get on.
Fair enough. £100 or more would be good.
We want £400, so this is a great contribution but not quite enough.
Shall I see what else we can find?
-You can leave us, me and Dave will hang here.
-Which one do you want to be?
'Paul and David aren't the only ones enjoying pulling the strings.
'While I get sidetracked with Puff,
'Hugo has served up a full dinner service.
'This dainty Gainsborough set might bring in £30 to £50 in the sale.
'In the hallway, Isobel's found some candidates that might join it at auction.'
-Paul, come and have a look at this.
Let's have a look. Oh, some little figurines.
-So whose are these, then?
-Well, mine, I guess.
Of course they are. Did you buy them?
No, I didn't. Well, they were my mother's.
Well, these are very 1950s, early '60s.
They were very, very popular at that time.
It's a firm called Goebel, have you heard of them?
I know that she called them Hummel figures.
Right. Well, the word Hummel actually comes from the name of the artist
who designed the illustrations to make these figurines.
She was a nun, and apparently the director of Goebel stumbled across some of her drawings,
and wanted to make them into a ceramic form
but he had to ask the Franciscan Church.
That still goes on today, every time one of these figures are made, they have to get permission
for the drawings to be used.
-They also have this little triangle on the bottom.
-The Goebel triangle there.
-Have they all got that, do you know?
-I think so.
That one's got it. Another one, that one has. Let's have a look at this one.
-We have an impostor there, can you see?
-Yeah, different face.
You can see the quality isn't there.
This is just a cheap imitation, so that has no value whatsoever.
If I said about £20 each now, so that's 60 to 100.
-How does that sound?
-Gosh, that's good, isn't it?
-Are you sure David won't miss them?
-I don't think so.
Let's go and ask him. David, we're selling your figures, mate.
The Hummel figures. That's a good valuation and to be honest, I've never really liked them.
I think they've got silly faces
and that silly little quiff on the little hiker. I won't miss them.
'So, off they hike to auction. There are certainly plenty of knick-knacks and memorabilia in this house.
'In the kitchen I found another dinner set that could deliver the goods.
'This Victorian Blue dinner service
'might bring in £50 to £100.
'While the boys keep up the hunt, I track down Isobel and David in the garden.'
How do you think it's going so far?
-Yeah? Are you pleased with the valuations?
-Very much so.
Most of the items that we seem to be seeing are coming from your side of the family, Isobel.
Yeah, some I've inherited from my mother and some from my aunt.
They died quite close together so I had an awful lot of stuff all at once.
There's quite a theatrical theme going on so have either of you two
-ever been tempted to go on the stage?
-No, just amateur dramatics.
-You have done amateur dramatics?
-I've done it, yeah. My father used to do it a lot too.
Is there something going through the family here
-cos there's certainly a theatre interest?
-And James of course does.
-Yeah, so what's his plans, then,
because it's not exactly a secure job, is it?
No, no, he's got some back-up plans.
That's something nowadays, isn't it? At least he's got back-up plans.
Or at least I've got back-up plans for him.
Before the final curtain falls, can we find anything else?
-Come on, we've got time to take these in, I think.
'You know what they say, slow and steady wins the race.'
'And we've certainly been cracking on in a bid
'to find items for our theatre trip fund.
This New Hall Pottery bowl with a daffodil pattern can be added to our cast list.
It belonged to Isobel's grandmother and could take centre stage
at around £50 to £100 in the sale.
And it looks like James has found a whole set of characters
that could audition for the auction.
-Do you think this is worth anything?
Let's have a look. Oh, right, that's some collection.
Yeah. It's Beatrix Potter, little figurines.
Right. Well, she really was one of the first people to put animals
in real-life situations, make them into human-like characters.
There's a couple of things to look for. These have been made since the 1940s,
and if you have a look, they all have "Copyright 1948".
-Can you see that?
-Oh, yeah. They were made in two cycles.
The original figurines when they first appeared
had a gold back stamp, it flashes as you turn it into the light.
The browner back stamps are a bit later, so I'd say these were 1980s
if not even later than that but very, very collectible.
I tell you what is interesting about Beatrix Potter as well,
she was very famous for studying flowers and plants and food
and she was actually world famous for the study of mushrooms.
-So do you think we can sell them?
-Well, how many have you got? One...two...six, haven't you?
Well, if I said to you £60 to £100, how does that sound?
I wouldn't have thought that they'd be worth that much.
Shall we ask Jemima?
-Come on, let's keep looking.
The Beatrix Potter figurines surprised me because I didn't think
they would be worth that much, there's not very many of them.
They've just always been there.
So, yeah, they'll not really be missed.
But are we dressed for success?
No nook is safe in our bid to find objects for our theatre fund.
This oil painting of a winter scene with a white frame might be an option.
It's a good size and would look nice in a modern flat or on a pub wall.
It is signed by the artist but not clearly,
and as he's unsure of its background,
Paul thinks £20 to £40 is a fair price for this.
It's been a whirlwind tour of the Greens' home and we've found quite a few items to go to auction.
But have we got enough to reach our £400 target?
As we have one last look, Paul sniffs out a new talent.
Isobel? I love these scent bottles.
Are these like a family heirloom?
-Yes, they belonged to my grandmother.
-These are great. I think they're great pieces of social history.
-We're all so used to buying perfumes now already in the bottles.
But when these bottles were made, you'd actually go to your chemist,
-and your chemist would decant the perfume for you.
-So you'd all have these individual bottles.
So it would have to be kept airtight.
Underneath here would be a stopper at some point.
-Do you know if it had a stopper underneath?
-Not since I've had it.
It's a good way to tell for condition too,
because the stopper would be forced into there, you'd get a crack or a craze.
but this is in wonderful condition. This is genuine cut glass, do you know how to tell?
-When you ping?
-It is in some cases, but this is difficult to ping.
It almost cuts your fingers, can you feel that?
-It's very, very sharp.
-Yes, it is.
That's hand-made. Now if this was made in a mould, the whole thing would be lost, it's quite numb.
So the fact it's very sharp, it's silver mounted, that's a very, very good scent bottle indeed.
That's a great item. We've got another few bits here. I'll grab this one,
which is a little cotton bud holder.
A good little tip here on these thin items is to hold them up to the light
because with all the polishing, you can get little holes appear.
This one's not in bad condition, that's a good little tip
because if they're holey, you've a big problem.
So that's great, you've got quite a few little items.
-Are you sure David won't use that for aftershave?
Here he is now. OK? Hello! Did you hear that?
-Aye, I heard that.
No, I think the moustache is staying for a few years yet.
You've found some lovely items, what are they worth?
These are very attractive, we've got a couple of smaller items here too.
-If I said at least £120, maybe £150?
Well, I'm very pleased, because you wanted £400, didn't you, to take the family to the theatre in London?
The total value of everything that you're sending to auction comes to £570.
-So you're pleased with that?
-Yeah, really pleased, that's great.
Next time you see them they'll be on display
and hopefully there'll be lots of people handling them because they want to buy them.
-So are you looking forward to that?
-Yes, without a doubt.
Auctions are always unpredictable, so it's just as well we came in over target
and the star players performing at this auction include
the silk opera programmes that Isobel's aunt saved from the bin.
We're hoping they'll raise the curtain at £50 to £100.
The quirky Pelham puppets with their flying pig trademark,
we hope they'll take off in the sale at around £100 to £150.
And this chorus of Beatrix Potter animals,
Paul thinks they might steal the show at £60 to £100.
Still to come on Cash In The Attic,
time for our stars to make an appearance.
But will their performance be up to scratch?
I think he's unsold those, actually, at 75.
We're certainly hoping for a standing ovation.
Find out when the final hammer falls.
Now, it's been a few weeks since we visited the theatrical Green family at their home in Kent
and we found lots of lovely items to bring here to Chiswick Auction Rooms in West London.
Now, they're looking to raise around £400 so the whole family can enjoy a day out to the stage in West London,
so let's just hope that today when our items go under the hammer, they receive a full standing ovation.
It's a good turnout today and there's certainly plenty to see.
Let's hope our man, Paul Hayes, doesn't scare them away.
-# La-a-a-a-a. #
-Hello, my dear.
Oh! Just in time before the chandelier's all lit up.
Don't worry, I've got some tablets for indigestion, so I think you'll be OK. These are lovely.
They're great. I've just noticed on this one
that Signor Caruso was involved in this performance, isn't that great?
-There we go.
-So do you think we'll get these away today?
Yeah, these are great, interesting items. If you went to these performances you were very wealthy.
They're lovely things, a bit of memorabilia.
As much as I like these, the Pelham puppet theatre has stolen my heart. I think that's fantastic.
Yes, visual items. Anybody that grew up in the '50s and '60s,
it's a great thing to have, some personal memories for somebody.
It's nearly time to raise the curtain, so shall we meet them?
Thought you'd never ask. My moment's arrived.
Let's hope the buyers out there have an artistic bent.
They certainly look like a cultured lot.
Perhaps they'll like our Pelham puppets.
Isobel has brought them today, along with another addition.
-How are you, all right?
-I'm Brian, Isobel's brother.
-David's working away from home, so Brian's standing in.
Doesn't this look fantastic, hey? What a wonderful thing, but I can't see the dragons anywhere.
Yeah, they've stayed at home, I'm afraid.
-Ah...you wanted to keep those, did you?
-Hugo's a bit of a dragon freak.
I don't blame you, they're such cute things, don't you think?
Yeah. These are great items, and from experience
I've seen lots of people who've had these items around the house
and they become one of the family, so I do understand.
Do we have high hopes for this, Paul?
Originally I said £100, £120, and I think you've still got about that here.
-It's nicely set up, it's in good display, we're in a great place, so I stand by that estimate.
Let's hope we can make all your money. We're in a back room here, the auction's about to start.
Shall we go and get in position, OK?
If you're thinking of buying or selling at auction,
bear in mind that VAT and other charges apply.
Right, ladies and gentlemen, I shall start the sale in just a moment.
We've found a good spot set back from the auction just in time for our first lot,
-the little German Hummel figures.
-Hummel figures are very collectible
-but I think one of them wasn't a Hummel, if I remember rightly.
-Do you like them?
-I do, yes, they're lovely.
£50 for that lot, 20 to start me...
22, 25, 28, £30, 35, £40...
at £40, do I see? 45, at £50...
No? You're not bidding. 45 is here.
£45 is near me, at £45... you dropped out at 45 and I'm selling 45.
Wow! That's all right, isn't it?
-That was really good.
Especially as you didn't like them.
Under estimate but that's not a bad start.
And keeping in the realm of children's figurines,
the six Beswick Beatrix Potter figures are up next.
All in the room at £70... have you finished?
That was a cheeky result.
But when the silver-plated tea set takes home a figure
just under its estimate...
22 it's going... 22 to buyer 509.
And immediately after that, the Gainsborough dinner service sells.
Last chance at 70.
-That's good, isn't it? £70.
We're really beginning to warm up now.
£70 is more than twice our lower estimate.
So far we've made £207 towards our £400 evening out at the theatre fund,
and we're hoping our next lot will be the star of the show.
But they are missing some highly collectible characters.
Now it's our piece de resistance.
We should be selling tickets just to have a look at this theatre.
It's a wonderful, wonderful piece. And what do we want for this?
£100 plus, let's see how we get on. The dragons were the main items, but they're not here.
£100 for this lot?
40 to start me then, at 40 for all the puppets. At £40...45 now.
At £40, can I take 40? 45 I am bid...50, 55...
60, 65... at £70, 75...
£80, another one?
At £80, against you at £80...
any more at 80?
There you are. I think he's unsold those at 75, just cos it wasn't quite enough.
-I think if all the ones would have been here, they would have gone well over the £100.
-Well, there you go.
That was a bit of a shock, we expected them to do so well.
And room for another let-down when the Victorian dinner service
also fails to realise its potential.
Disappointing at 25, that remains unsold for the present.
And goes unsold.
This is not looking good for our fund.
We're more than halfway through the auction and we need to put some money in the pot.
And when the pretty New Hall bowl fails to sell.
Any further bids on 20?
-That's coming home.
-You're quite pleased about that, aren't you? I can tell.
-I'm not bothered.
It's a blow,
but thankfully Isobel doesn't seem too downhearted.
Well, it didn't sell but I've always liked it.
It's just unusual and bright, so I'm going to put it back.
Isobel may be happy to take the bowl home,
but after a dire run of no sales we need to lift the mood here.
Paul was very keen on our next lot.
Perhaps it will freshen up our chances.
We've got an estimate on that have we, Paul?
Yeah, it looks about £120.
I tried to be conservative with those, there are lots of buyers for this type of thing.
I do remember that large perfume bottle was an absolute cracker.
-Yes, there is a reserve on it. I put a reserve on it.
-OK, which is?
-Oh, OK, all right. OK.
I am bid £100 in two places, 110...
120, 130, 140, 150...
150 I have, 160 is the next bid.
Any further bidding on £150? Have you all finished at 150? Selling, then.
-150, pleased with that?
-£20 above your reserve.
-Looks good to me.
That brought a welcome change of tune and now the show must continue.
Our next lot is the opera programmes.
Commission interest again in these starting at 55, 60, five, 70, five, 80, £80 I have.
-£90 I have, 95 is it?
£90. The bid's still with me at £90 on commission.
All done at £90.
-That's good, isn't it?
-Are you pleased with that?
What a brilliant result.
Those last two sales have given us the boost we needed,
but our next lot is a dark horse.
This painting was left to Isobel by her aunt
but she's not sure who the artist is.
I've never liked it, it's very dark.
It was my aunt's, and I've had it valued a couple of times,
and it's never really been more than about £30, so we'll see.
-What do you want for this, Paul?
-I put this in the region of £20 to £40 just as a decorative picture.
I think with all art it depends on who has painted it, it's all about the artist.
-You can have a blob but if it's the right person who's painted it.
-Personal taste too.
British School winter scene, snow scene, well presented.
-Commission interest in this starting at £70.
-Commission interest, £70!
80, five...90, five...100, and ten.
110 I'm bid, 110 I'm bid,
-120 I'll take, 120 I'm bid, 130 I'm bid.
140, 150, 160, 170, 180...
-at 180 I am out. At 180 commissions are finished at £180.
It's in the room now, 180 and selling.
£180, that is fantastic.
-For something you don't like.
Isobel is rightly pleased and whether it was bought by someone
who recognised the artist or because it's a fine contemporary picture,
the theatre fund is benefiting.
And speaking of our £400 target, just how close have we got to it?
I'm pleased to tell you you've actually made £627.
-Wow! That's brilliant.
-I think it's superb, considering the bowl didn't sell, nor did the theatre.
-Or the dinner service.
There's three big items that didn't sell and you've still made that much money.
That's brilliant, that's our night out sorted.
A balmy evening in London town, what better place for a special family night out?
There's the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben.
There's lots to see from this bridge, isn't there?
The Greens are making the most of their time to cram in some sights.
And then over there, that's St Martin-in-the-Fields.
Do you wanna swim...wanna swim?
We're looking around Trafalgar Square, and various things to see,
and then we'll have something to eat.
Then we're going to the theatre to see The Woman In Black, which James is studying for his ASs
so it'll be really useful for him to actually see the play on stage.
-James in particular is looking forward to the show.
-Can't wait to see the play.
I've been looking forward to it for ages, and maybe I'll pick up some tips for later in my career.
This play is a classic ghost story and the family are bound to get a thrill or two.
We've got the tickets, the show's going to be great but scary.
So we're all going to go in and enjoy ourselves, and all thanks to Cash In The Attic.
If you've got a project in mind you'd like to raise some funds for
by selling your antiques and collectibles at auction,
why not get in touch with Cash In The Attic?
You'll find more details and an application form
at our website.
See you next time.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Limited
E-mail [email protected]
Lorne Spicer meets a theatrical family from Kent with aspirations for a grand day out to London's West End. There's a full cast of antiques to examine, including some opera programmes found in a rubbish bin; could they turn out to be the star attraction?